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We've extended our deadline in search of a new Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research - you'll play a key role updating and reshaping of the Division's Strategic Plan for Public Engagement with Research, and help improve opportunities and support for public engagement. This role has administrative support, budget and an additional responsibility allowance.

At the University of Oxford we believe that high-quality public engagement with research (PER) enriches research and can improve the quality and impact of research.

As part of the Division’s ongoing efforts to nurture a supportive culture for high-quality public engagement with research, the Division is appointing a new Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research to act as an agent of change and to spearhead the development of a refreshed Strategic Plan for Public Engagement.

The current Academic Champion for PER is Prof. David Pyle (Earth Sciences).


  • You will play a key role in shaping the landscape and support for PER within the Division and across the University.
  • This is an excellent professional development opportunity. You will build your profile, develop influence and skills in negotiation, engagement, decision-making, and strategy development and implementation.
  • This role comes with a responsibility allowance.


  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of Public Engagement with Research, including University and national policies.
  • Established researcher with first-class leadership and negotiation skills, and previous experience of sitting on committees and steering groups (or equivalent) with an understanding of decision-making processes.
  • Demonstrable significant experience of and support for public engagement with research.
  • Keen to proactively support progress embedding PER within research culture and practice.
  • Dynamic with ability to influence.


For a term of three years:

  1. Provide academic leadership and accountability to refresh and implement the Division’s Strategy for Public Engagement with Research in line with the University and UKRI Strategies for Public Engagement with Research, and to support both the Division’s and the wider university’s commitments to both the Manifesto for Public Engagement and the Concordat for Engaging the Public with ResearchNote, there is already core budget allocated to this area.
  2. Working with the University-wide academic champion for Public Engagement with Research (Prof. Alison Woollard) and represent the MPLS Division on the University’s Public Engagement with Research Academic Advisory Network to contribute to wider University thinking and developments to support PER culture change.
  3. Working with Division’s Public Engagement and Community Engagement with Research Manager to:
    1. Identify priorities, barriers and opportunities;
    2. Contribute insights to the development of implementation plans;
    3. Proactively seek out opportunities to liaise with senior academics to support the case for PER when appropriate;
    4. Provide academic leadership for reporting to the Division’s Innovation and Impact Committee, General Purposes Committee when required, and the EPSRC IAA steering group on developments, progress and key issues related to Public Engagement with Research. Raising key issues for discussion.
    5. Provide expert support on Public Engagement with Research policies and agendas to other senior leaders where required.
    6. Proactively strengthen and make more visible the Division’s commitment to Public Engagement with Research.



The application process will involve two stages:

-          Submitting an application along with endorsement from your Head of Department

-          A panel will shortlist candidates to invite to interview

To apply, send an email to detailing why you are interested in this role, and providing brief responses to each of the following questions by 11 December. Please refer to the above personal specification.

Please also seek and provide endorsement from your Head of Department by email.

  • What is your understanding of the value and purpose of public engagement with research, and how does it interact with and differ from other engagement agendas, e.g., outreach?
  • What experience and involvement do you have of participating in strategic groups and decision making at the University, or in your department or local context?
  • Please provide a brief summary of the public engagement with research you have undertaken.



Extended application deadline

11 Dec 2020

Notification of shortlisting outcome

18 Dec 2020

Virtual interviews

TBC Jan 2021

Appointment by

28 Feb 2021



-          Prof. Dermot O’Hare (Associate Head – Industrial Liaison and Innovation, Chair)

-          Prof. Laura Herz (Associate Head – Research)

-          Prof. Matt Jarvis (Associate Head – People)

-          Dr. Lesley Paterson (Head of PER, Research Services)


For any general enquiries please contact (or via Teams). If you would like to discuss with the current Champion, please contact